Finding your ideal recruit?

The Islander – March 2020

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we also have a tendency to recruit in our own image

When recruiting for a position on board, what it is that you are ideally looking for in them?  How can you really judge what a person can bring to your boat, and what impact will they have on the rest of the crew? These are the million-dollar questions.

 “The ideal crew member to me looks much the same as it always has in my mind – loyal, sharp, witty, present, and attentive and has a solid background and education. The hardest aspect of hiring crew these days is sifting through the bravado and over-inflated CVs and finding out what they really can bring to a yacht. In my sailing days all you had to see on the CV was a well-known yacht on the circuit and you knew exactly what you were getting – a solid crew member who could certainly sail!” – Superyacht captain 50m

The age-old adage ‘you don’t get to know someone until they stop trying to impress you’ rings true after the post-interview dust settles and their true colours have shine through once the foot is in the proverbial door.  And as all yacht crew know from experience - you don’t really know someone until you live with them!   A CV and an interview doesn’t always cut the mustard in the pursuit of finding out what a person is really like. How many times can you look back at crew you’ve hired and review their CV and think … wow they really are not what I was expecting!

The fundamental traits of the ideal crew member look the same as they always have; it takes a certain type of person to fit into the industry and thrive.  How accurately can you assess a potential recruit’s personality? Such as their drive to be part of a team, a good communicator or perhaps how loyal they are, or how far they are willing to ‘bend’ the rules.

We also have a tendency to recruit in our own image. It is not uncommon for us to work on board a boat where the Captain has recruited a significant number of crew who fall into a similar personality profile.

Finding the right person is getting harder, with more crew to choose from, an expanding age range aboard and greater cultural diversity, it is more important than ever to get the right ‘fit’ for your boat. You can trust your intuition, trial them for a day or a week, alternatively you can look to the corporate sector to see how they manage recruitment.

For many years psychometric profiling has been part and parcel of the hiring process. With recruitment success rates moving from in the region of 30% without profiling, to 70 – 80% with the use of these tools and techniques, the trend is on the up. It requires professional consultants to intervene in the process – taking your shortlist of three or so candidates (that of course all have the necessary skills, qualifications and experience), analysing their psychometrics and interviewing to better understand their behaviour. With this additional information, you can then decide upon the most suitable candidate for your boat and crew. We’ve all seen the new chief officer, who’s great when the Captain is on board, but the minute the Captain’s off and he’s in charge, we see a change in personality and a need and desire for power and authority come to the fore – wouldn’t it have been nice to know before he was hired what his behaviour would probably be like!

We recently worked with a Captain to hire a new Chief Officer. When we put forward the pros and cons of each of the candidates his comment was “My gut was telling me to hire the person who was probably the least suited for the position!” If you are looking to hire and it’s important to you to get it right, use the tools that are available to increase your recruitment success rates.

Contact Impact Crew to discuss the use of psychometric profiling to increase your recruitment success. Impact Crew specialises in providing team and leadership development, along with other management consultancy services.